Effect of volcanic emissions on clouds during the 2008 and 2018 Kilauea degassing events.

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From: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics(Vol. 21, Issue 10)
Publisher: Copernicus GmbH
Document Type: Brief article
Length: 321 words

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Abstract :

Volcanic eruptions in otherwise clean environments are "natural experiments" wherein the effects of aerosol emissions on clouds and climate can be partitioned from meteorological variability and anthropogenic activities. In this work, we combined satellite retrievals, reanalysis products, and atmospheric modeling to analyze the mechanisms of aerosol-cloud interactions during two degassing events at the Kilauea volcano in 2008 and 2018. The eruptive nature of the 2008 and 2018 degassing events was distinct from long-term volcanic activity for Kilauea. Although previous studies assessed the modulation of cloud properties from the 2008 event, this is the first time such an analysis has been reported for the 2018 event and that multiple degassing events have been analyzed and compared at this location. Both events resulted in significant changes in cloud effective radius and cloud droplet number concentration that were decoupled from local meteorology and in line with an enhanced cloud albedo. However, it is likely that the effects of volcanic emissions on liquid water path and cloud fraction were largely offset by meteorological variability. Comparison of cloud anomalies between the two events suggested a threshold response of aerosol-cloud interactions to overcome meteorological effects, largely controlled by aerosol loading. In both events, the ingestion of aerosols within convective parcels enhanced the detrainment of condensate in the upper troposphere, resulting in deeper clouds than observed under pristine conditions. Accounting for ice nucleation on ash particles led to enhanced ice crystal concentrations at cirrus levels and a slight decrease in ice water content, improving the correlation of the model results with the satellite retrievals. Overall, aerosol loading, plume characteristics, and meteorology contributed to changes in cloud properties during the Kilauea degassing events.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A662543370